The Beat with Neil Channing

The Beat with Neil Channing

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Bad Beat on resolutions, the new Vic and achin' heads with Akenhead.

Sweet Victory

So I finally won my live tournament for the year. I think I’ve now won a live tournament every year bar two since 1995. Bit sick about those two but I’m glad to tick off this year even if it took until the last minute and it was in my own tournament.

I’d just like to thank all of those who supported Black Belt Newcastle Live, I think it was a really great fun event, and to all those who promised to play that didn’t come, please send the £349 I would have won from you, c/o Bluff Europe.

Bar bills and Akin’ heads

Apart from Newcastle I’ve not played any live poker for a while but I have played a little more this year than one man who has taken a long break from the game. In case you are wondering what James Akenhead has been up to and why you haven’t seen him for a while, he hasn’t given up playing, he’s just busy working on a new project.

The Reach Bar takes up the ground floor of a massive listed building, down by the river at Galleon’s Reach E16. The place had been empty for ages and James has spent the whole year converting it, dealing with banks, builders, licensing, staff and all the massive headaches that come with running a business.

The good news is the place is now open and it looks amazing. I went to check it out and I can confirm the food is great. I hear they have a jazz band quite often and James looks like he was born to be there when he greets you from behind the bar. If anyone is in the area I would really recommend you take a look.

TB Jan 2014 Akenhead

The New Vic
Apart from playing in Newcastle, my only other poker session in December was back home – at the Vic. If anyone hasn’t been in lately they’ll be as amazed as I was. The whole place has changed completely. You need to come past a sort of turnstile to enter the upstairs poker room and once you’re in it looks completely different.

The restaurant has been moved right back and in its place there are extra poker tables. The VIP room has gone, although they have built a new one, and where the old one was there are even more poker tables. Basically, there are extra poker tables all over the place.

The Loyalty Freeroll, where regulars get to play for a six-figure sum each month with the prize coming from the pots in raked games, is going to be a massive event every month with all those new tables adding to the pool.
I’m certainly planning to pop in more often and I’m going to make sure I qualify for that one from now on.

TB Jan 2014 The Vic


The first really big event of the New Year in the Vic will be the GUKPT at the end of the month. The main event is set at £1,000 and, with a guarantee of £200,000 looking certain to be smashed, will be one I shall not miss. I can just see it now with all those new tables full up and satellite winners qualifying all month. I shall make a prediction here and hope it works as well as last month. I’m going to make this one my first big win of 2014.

While we’re on the subject of setting targets for the New Year, mine won’t change much from normal. I’ll be trying to always have fun when playing, to act professionally, to do nothing that could deter others to play more poker and to win a bracelet.

Shouldn’t be too hard.

TB Jan 2014 4

Tags: Neil Channing, James Akenhead, The Reach, The Vic